Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

5.6 Magnitude Quake Off Papua New Guinea

An earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea but there was no threat of a major tsunami, officials said Thursday.

Bizarro Earth

Gang of 350 Baboons Terrorize South African Town

A criminal gang being blamed for countless burglaries, thefts and vandalism in South Africa is made up entirely of baboons.

Residents of Cape Peninsula said the gang is at least 350 baboons strong.


Comment: Hard to believe the Neocons have the time to visit South Africa regularly.


The oldest trees on Earth, Bristlecone Pine

They have neither the soaring majesty nor the celebrity of the giant redwood, but in one respect the bristlecone pine is the undisputed king of trees: longevity.

Scattered on a remote mountainside of eastern California, these gnarled, twisted specimens are the oldest living organisms on Earth, the most senior among them some 4,700 years old.

©Signs of the Times
Ancient bristlecone pine trees are seen 13 September 2007 in the White Mountains of the Inyo National Forest near Bishop, California.

Comment: Mike Baillie in the book Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters With Comets uses research in the field of dendrochronology and specific information from tree ring samples of the bristlecone pine to build the case that earth is regularly visited by cyclical catastrophies from space.

Laura Knight-Jadczyk's essay 'Independence Day' includes information from Baillie's book and provides further research and detail on the subject.

Cloud Lightning

Slovenia floods kill five

At least five people were killed when strong rainstorms swept Slovenia, damaging houses and isolating towns and villages from the rest of the country.

Heavy rains driven by high winds were strongest in northern Slovenia Tuesday, rendering serious damage to houses, flooding roads and railways and cutting off electricity and phone networks, the Serbian news agency Beta reported Wednesday.

Slovenians clean debris and wrecked cars after heavy floods in Zelezniki, some 60 kms northwest of Ljubljana. Four people died and four were still missing Wednesday, the day after the heaviest rains in 30 years hit Slovenia's northwest, causing flooding and mudslides, state radio said.

Cloud Lightning

West Bengal rains claim seven lives

Torrential rains that lashed Kolkata and districts of southern West Bengal last two days have left seven persons dead.

Reports said over 500 dwellings were damaged, mostly in South 24-Parganas district where mud houses collapsed or had their tin roofs blown away in stormy winds with speeds up to 70 km per hour.



Clever plants chat over their own network

Recent research from Vidi researcher Josef Stuefer at the Radboud University Nijmegen reveals that plants have their own chat systems that they can use to warn each other. Therefore plants are not boring and passive organisms that just stand there waiting to be cut off or eaten up. Many plants form internal communications networks and are able to exchange information efficiently.

Chat network

Many herbal plants such as strawberry, clover, reed and ground elder naturally form networks. Individual plants remain connected with each other for a certain period of time by means of runners. These connections enable the plants to share information with each other via internal channels. They are therefore very similar to computer networks. But what do plants want to chat to each other about?

Bizarro Earth

New Zealand volcano erupts

New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu erupted without warning Tuesday night, and at least two people were reported to be injured as lahars, or volcanic mudflows, swept down the mountain.

New Zealand's snow-capped Mount Ruapehu volcano erupts, spewing mud down its slopes as well as flying rock, which seriously injured one climber.

Civil defence officials ordered skiing areas evacuated and police closed roads in the area, including the North Island's main state highway and railway line, which run near the foot of the 2,797-metre high mountain.

Better Earth

Perking volcano's dome still growing

The first faint beats of Mount St. Helens' reawakening appeared as a series of small squiggles on seismograph paper in the pre-dawn hours three years ago today.

Todd Cullings, an interpretive ranger at Johnston Ridge Observatory, didn't think much of it.

"We've had swarms of earthquakes like this before," he said at the time. "There's nothing to worry about at this time."

Bizarro Earth

Sea Level Rise Could Flood Many Cities

Ultimately, rising seas will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting. In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased.

Global warming - through a combination of melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warmer waters expanding - is expected to cause oceans to rise by one meter, or about 39 inches. It will happen regardless of any future actions to curb greenhouse gases, several leading scientists say. And it will reshape the nation.


Mysterious Lightning Strike Closes Virginia's Grand Caverns

Darkness continues to envelop Grand Caverns, America's oldest show cave, after a lightning strike damaged the attraction's electrical system earlier this month, officials there say.

Charmaine Detrow, an education coordinator at the Grottoes park, said caverns officials are still mystified as to how cables and a light box, which provide illumination for tours, were struck by lightning. She said the system is inside the cave with no exposure to the elements.

"There's no doubt in our minds it got hit," she said. "The plastic switches are melted onto the metal box."